TPM News

Gingrich 2012 News Gets Mixed Hill Response Roll Call reports: "The confirmation Tuesday that Newt Gingrich will explore a run for president was greeted by official Washington with a mixture of indifference, excitement and a general prediction that the former Speaker can't win...A Republican political operative based in Washington, D.C., added that Gingrich's personal life could be a major obstacle in the primary, even as this individual described his potential candidacy as a positive development. "

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET, and Obama will meet at 10:30 a.m. ET with senior advisers. Obama and Biden will meet at 12:30 p.m. ET for lunch. At 1:45 p.m. ET, Obama will award the 2010 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal. Obama and Biden will meet at 4:30 p.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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With Virginia Sen. Jim Webb (D) retiring at the end of his term, the race to replace him in 2012 looks like a total toss up, according to a new PPP poll.

In the poll, the strongest potential candidate from each party -- former Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine and former Republican Sen. George Allen -- topped every challenger thrown against them. Yet in a head-to-head match-up, Kaine and Allen tied at 47% apiece.

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Members of the Texas nonprofit group Former Majority Association for Equality are on a media blitz defending their scholarships exclusively for white males.

William Lake -- the group's treasurer and an MBA candidate at Texas State University in San Marcos -- told MSNBC Tuesday afternoon that white men are "one group that just doesn't have any support."

How does he figure? "We saw opportunities for just about every demographic, as far as paying for college goes, except for this one," Lake told TPM.

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Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) proved on Monday that man can still dominate machine -- as long as that man is a trained rocket scientist and former five-day Jeopardy! champ.

Holt defeated IBM supercomputer "Watson" in a round of the game show. Take that, robot overlords!

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Taking up progressive complaints that the Supreme Court has become dangerously politicized, Reps. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) are introducing legislation that could require justices to recuse themselves in certain cases.

"The problem is the only person who can decide whether Justice Thomas can recuse himself is Justice Thomas," Murphy told reporters at a press conference outside the Capitol. "That's wrong and that needs to change."

The bill would allow the Judicial Conference, which determines standards of recusal for federal judges, to examine Supreme Court members as well and create guidelines for determining a conflict of interest. They could even force members to step down from certain cases if they determined a procedure for such a move. The bill would also require members to offer an explanation if they decide to recuse themselves voluntarily as to why they declined to judge a case.

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You know whose first days as chairman of the House Oversight Committee didn't involve having to fire a high-profile staffer? Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), who ran the committee from 2007 through 2009.

I caught up with Waxman in the Speaker's Lobby during a House vote on short-term spending Tuesday afternoon and asked him to weigh in on his heir Darrell Issa, who's had tougher luck.

"He's not gotten off to a good start," Waxman said, "and he's got to figure out how to make corrections in his own operation."

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Wisconsin Democratic state Sen. John Erpenbach, still out of state in Illinois, has a clear message for Governor Scott Walker: Don't blame public workers for a broken budget.

Interviewed by CNN's Brook Baldwin via phone on Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Erpenbach said he continues to be unhappy with Walker's tactics. "He's deficit spending right now, and as a result of us calling him on that, something he promised during the campaign he'd never do, he's going to lay off people. It's a ridiculous game he's playing and a very dangerous game he's playing."

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A week after the Obama administration announced it believed part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional and said it would no longer defend the law in court, former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin is out with a statement that slams (surprise!) President Barack Obama for the decision.

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